The Timid Prayer

Lord, I speak these words with care,
Are You listening?  Are You there?
Will You laugh or think me dumb,
This wee voice from which it comes?

When I come to You in prayer
How will I know that You are there?
Will You find my words too thin?
Will You answer one so full of sin?

When the world demands so much of me,
Will You calm my soul as You do the sea?
My tasks are great; I am so small
I fear the failure worst of all.

Lord, if I give my fears up to You,
Will You give me strength to see it through?
Will You set a path for me to walk?
Will You nudge me on when I start to balk?

Lord, I know, there’s no other way,
But will You walk with me everyday?
Will You help me the right words to say?
Lord, will You teach me how to pray?

Source of Inspiration for The Timid Prayer
Yvonne answered a call to work as a Youth Director for a large church in Florida.  But as an emerging Christian, she had to learn the art of prayer.  Yvonne’s story and poem of how prayer affected her life were featured in a church publication created for Commitment Sunday.

When You’re Away

The silence of the house when you’re away,
Each room devoid of the sun’s bright rays,
No indication of life around.
Each room a vacuum of unheard sound.

The silence in my head when you’re away,
Each thought is shelved; nothing to say.
Things to do, but no cause to act.
Motivation numb, no energy, just slack.

The silence of my heart when you’re away,
Held in suspension, each beat at bay.
The blood stagnant, no where to go,
A dam of emotion diverts the flow.

The feel of the house when you are here
No strange noises, no shadows to fear.
The rooms quiet, yet fragrant and warm.
Coffee’s brewing, no need for alarms.

The sounds of my head when you are here
Awaken my thoughts, senses are clear.
Plans to make, organize the day,
Things to do, so we can go play.

The sounds in my heart when you are here
Echos of joy from peels of loud cheer,
Pulsing, pounding, life’s blood resumes,
A rush of love my body consumes.

Source of Inspiration for When You’re Away
The years with your children, growing as a family, pass so quickly.  Then you and your mate are thrown into the “empty nest phase”.  It takes some getting use to at first.  Then those familiar feelings and special moments before the children came along resurface.  A wonderful closeness reappears with a comfortable love and close companionship.  Unfortunately, work will necessitate brief periods of travel.  During one such occasion, the quiet and loneliness of the house prompted me to write this poem to my husband.  I emailed the poem to him so he would have it to read when he answered his email the following morning.  It’s always nice when he comes home and those familiar sounds and sights resume.  And love goes on.

I Thirst

I Thirst!
Lord, I Thirst!
For Your Love,
For Your Grace,
A Peaceful Soul,
An Enlightened Heart,
For Your Forgiveness.
My God,
My God,
Why have I forsaken You!?

Source of Inspiration for I Thirst
One day I was looking for my Bible.  I looked in several places that I might have left it, but it wasn’t to be found.  I began to feel anxious, much like the feeling you get when you are thirsty.  Then these lines filled my head.  You may find the “word-twist” interesting.

The Sea of Stone

In the sea of stone
What do you dread?
Is it fear of life, or
Fear of the dead?

In the sea of stone
There lie the shells,
Remnants of life,
Once living cells.

In the sea of stone,
There’s still hope for life,
Everlasting to everlasting
With our risen Christ.

At the sea of stone
Give thanks for their breath,
For the memory of love
Uncancelled by death.

At the sea of stone
Fear not the dead,
Cherish the peace,
Rejoice, instead.

Source of Inspiration for The Sea of Stone
Halloween was Saturday night, and the day after was All Saints Day, which is traditionally celebrated by Christians the first weekend in November each year. In his sermon, the minister, Rev. Tim Smiley, spoke of the old country churches and the tradition of placing the cemetery next to the church to include the departed loved ones or “saints” with the living encompassing the family of God. Visions of the cemetery full of love for the ones buried there inspired this poem. Published in Whispers of The Wind, The International Library of Poetry.

Creatures of Love

“Butterflies are free,” my Mom said to me.
Their beauty and grace were put on this place
To dance on the air and enchant our space
In time.  And then these creatures of beauty and love
Transcend to a level so far above
Leaving only the memory of beauty and love.

Source of Inspiration for Creatures of Love
After I returned home to Florida following my Mom’s funeral, I was standing in the garden watering my babies (my plants) when a beautiful zebra butterfly dance by my head.  I began to recall all of the butterflies I encountered as I packed up my Mother’s things.  There were butterfly pictures, butterfly figurines, a butterfly scarf, even her wall paper had butterflies.

As I watched the zebra butterfly dance around my head, I suddenly felt my Mom’s presence.  She was dancing on the air as she had not been able to do in her wheelchair.  She was free to dance at last!  And she was there to tell me it was “Ok”, and that she would always be there for me.

Then the poetic words of “Creatures of Love” filled my head.  I put the words on paper, using this poem in my thank-you notes to the kind people who sent their condolences.  Surprisingly, I had numerous people to call to comment on the poem.  This was also my first published poem, published in the book, Surrounded By Dreams, The National Library of Poetry. 1998.

Bucolic Way

Bucolic Way, known only to locals
A treasured route in the famed Forest Trails
Steep rolling hills chase valleys and meadows
Beguiling the eager trekker to seek
Obscure, idyllic lea o’er the next ridge.

Hot Summer winds tickle pale wheaten shafts
Waving to hawks glissading lofty skies
The cattle hunker in circles as clouds
Roil, winds howl, then warm rain showers the earth.

The Fall leaves flaunt flashy, terminus hues
Awaiting chilly, blue norther’s volley
Fussy fat squirrels amass their nutty cash
Bucks seek asylum deep in the thicket.

Bitter Winter winds forecast icy roads
Snow dresses the hills, a chaste cloak of white
And diamonds dance on the frigid waters
The hush crushed by a heckling filly.

Ah, Spring, yes, sweet Spring on Bucolic Way!
Such green!  Clean green!  In shades likely not seen
By the nescient.  Twin fawns leap, for life
On Bucolic Way, a covert sanctum.

Source of Inspiration for Bucolic Way
Bucolic Way is actually CR 3357, a short road connecting my country home to the small town of Winnsboro, Texas, in the heart of the Texas Forest Trails, where I shop the grocery and pharmacy.  I coined this obscure, but beautiful road Bucolic Way because of the topography, rolling hills, fabulous green meadows, thick forests.  Bucolic Way was published in Who’s Who in American Poetry, 2015.

Sandy’s Sinners and Saints

Sandy butchered the Eastern Shore.
The lambs sold short her brawn.
Droplets morphed, a macabre mount!
Sandy’s scourge marred the dawn.

Lambs mourned their loss, their loves, their lives.
Gouged for needs, evil spawned
The greedy wolves, a mortal blight.
Sandy’s scourge marred the dawn.

Flood waters gorged on memories.
Homes, yards drowned, every awn.
Streets, blocks, history ablaze.
Sandy’s scourge marred the dawn.

Undaunted by havoc and death,
Unsung heroes, no pawns,
Emerged from the mire with help, hope.
Sandy’s scourge marred the dawn.

American spirits fatigued
But never fainting fawns,
Recast their communal turf, when
Sandy’s scourge marred the dawn.

Source of Inspiration for Sandy’s Sinners and Saints
Your first task as a poet is to assess the subject matter and decide which poetic form would best represent the subject.  Hurricane Sandy will long be the subject for conversation, tales, and folk music, thus my choice was the ballad.  Researching the aftermath of Sandy, two things that stood out were the heroes that emerged from unusual sources, even children, and the gouging of people for basics:  food, water, and shelter, exposing the ever-present by-product of evil greed.  God bless the heroes.  Shame on the greedy.
Sandy’s Sinners and Saints was published in Best Poets of 2013.

God’s Perfect Dance

Our love, a destiny, not by chance.
We love as one, God’s perfect dance.
Step by step, life’s rhythmed pace,
Ours souls in sync, ignite by grace.
Staccato the music, each step, each day,
In harmony and love our bodies sway.
Seconds fly, a year yet gone.
Still the dance goes on and on.
Dance with me ever, dip and twirl,
Past the moon and stars, and out of this world.

Source of Inspiration for God’s Perfect Dance
On the occasion of our 30th wedding anniversary, I awoke at 2:00 AM.  Unable to resume sleeping, I stumbled to my computer and began to “pen” this poem.  I wrote this as a gift to my husband, my hero, my champion, the one who has always encouraged me to reach higher.  

Then on the occasion of our younger son’s wedding, a young, very talented minister friend of mine, David Luna, put this poem to music, composing it in a Baroque style for piano and flute.  It was then sung by my friend and singer/composer, Brian Leeser, for my son’s wedding.

God’s Perfect Dance was featured in the Best Poems and Poets of 2003, and received the Editor’s Choice Award.

Katrina’s Heroses

The malevolent winds pummeled my world,
Deafening sounds of fury evoked fear,
Unimagined, incomprehensible.
Great oaks plucked from the earth like dandelions,
Yanked from the gardens of the southern belles.
Cold, dark, muddy waters surged, effacing
Floors, walls; encompassing all matter,
Human and inanimate.  No regard
For life or value.  No hope for the weak.
Climb! Climb!  Sanctuary in the attic.
Katrina wailed as murky waters rose.
My haven, now a bleak muddy coffin.
Shrieking frenzied prayers, grasping at shadows,
Groping frantically——for what?  Miracles?!
The ax!  A blessed instrument of hope!
Climb yet higher!  Ascending through the roof,
Now a solitary island scoured
By a vile, savage sea.  Exhaustion weighed
As a heavy shroud, compelling slumber,
A brief hiatus from reality.
Vigil screeching gulls beckoned consciousness.
Dawn’s soft haze revealed images–faces!
A soldier, a fireman, and a medic
Heroes!  Bearers of hope for the living!
Greeters to a new dawn, a new day — a new life.

Source of Inspiration for Katrina’s Heroes
My husband and I work for the largest catastrophe firm in the nation, contracting to large insurance companies for added personnel during disasters.  Our assignment to work Hurricane Katrina revealed countless stories of horror and devastation.  My job was to monitor “high priority” claims, claims involving death.  After reading the adjuster’s reports in the computer, I was overwhelmed by the terror Katrina inflicted on the people of the southern coast.  These stories led me to write about Katrina’s heroes, the thankless rescuers.  With this poem, I honor those heroes of Katrina’s survivors.  
Katrina’s Heroes was published in Songs of Honour, Noble House London, 2006.  This poem was also published in Centres of Expression, Noble House, London, 2007.

Dyslexia

My brain is clever, smart, and wise,
But it scrambles words;
Thoughts elude the memory bank.
My demise, the eyes,
So weak and slow,
Delude the mind.
Letters dance a charming
Gait across the page and preclude
The sweet accord,
Thus alarming the senses.
Frustration exudes!

Source of Inspiration for Dyslexia
“Dyslexia” may be a strange poem for a book entitled “Labours of Love”.  However, this malady, which I was diagnosed with as a senior in college, turns normal tasks into labours of love.  What a relief it was to learn there was a reason why I many times did not perform to the level of my classmates when I knew I was just as capable.  I never allowed my dyslexic son to use dyslexia as an excuse not to perform to the best of one’s ability.  It might be a daunting task, but the end results are worth the effort.  Therefore, I dedicate this to my son, Heath, a dyslexic who graduated with a PhD in Psychology and an MBA, and is head of the Primary Care Unit in a VA hospital in Florida.  His achievements have been a great source of pride and inspiration to me.  We can do it, huh, Kid!
Dyslexia was published in Labours of Love, Noble House, London, 2005.